What to Do with Kids to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

By Melissa Taylor

Timely topics

You know the saying, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”?


It’s true.


What’s our job as Chief Education Officers (CEOs) once the school year ends? To prevent summer learning loss! Even though summer has just started, it’s important that we make sure our kids don’t lose what they’ve learned this past year. We don’t want them falling behind.


Think about summer learning in three areas: reading, writing, and math. Below, you’ll find learning skills for each area. Once you know what your kids need to study, add in fun activities and you’ll have the perfect summer with no learning loss.



Kids need to read or they’ll fall behind. It’s important that they’re reading every day. Each age range below shows some of the major skills kids need to practice over the summer, including reading comprehension.


Ages 5 – 6

☐ Letter Sounds

☐ Sight Words

☐ Print awareness (you read to them)

☐ Beginning reading (they read to you)


Ages 7 – 10

☐ Comprehension (daily reading with a parent, to a parent, or by oneself)

☐ Vocabulary


Ages 11+

☐ Comprehension

☐ Vocabulary



It’s hard to motivate kids to write over the summer but it’s still essential that they do. Once you know what to cover, you can find some activities that your kids will want to do. Here are the skills kids need to practice.


Ages 5 – 6

☐ Tracing and writing letters (including writing first and last name)

☐ Writing for real purposes (stories, lists, journals)

☐ Writing sight words


Ages 7 – 10

☐ Print or cursive practice

☐ Writing for real purposes (stories, lists, journals, letters or emails)


Ages 11+

☐ Writing for real purposes (stories, lists, journals, blogs, letters or emails)



The same principle goes with math facts – if kids don’t practice, those memorized facts will just slip away, and so will all the other math concepts the teachers taught them this year.


Ages 4 – 6

☐ Counting

☐ Reading and writing numbers

☐ Addition & subtraction (hands-on)

☐ Patterns


Ages 7 – 8

☐ Money

☐ Addition & subtraction facts

☐ Place value


Ages 9+

☐ Mental math

☐ Critical thinking

☐ Multiplication & division facts


Time to Find Fun Activities

Once you know what your learning goals are for the summer, it’s time to find engaging activities for your kids to do to make learning fun. Remember to give your kids choices whenever possible – it will make them more motivated if they have a say in their own learning.



I love finding activities on Pinterest. Here are my favorite educational pinners, including myself.

This Reading Mama

Melissa Taylor

Playdough to Plato

No Time for Flash Cards

Teach Mama



Read blogs that share educational activities and reviews. I especially like to see reviews of books and iPad apps for kids.

Sylvan Learning Blog

Imagination Soup

The Maker Mom

Kids Activities Blog


What Do We Do All Day


Make a Weekly Plan

Now that you’ve researched the right activities for you kids, get out your calendar and write down which ones you’ll do each week. Start with this week. What are you going to do for reading? Do you need to take a trip to the library? What about planning a fun math game? Color code each activity and get the kids in on the fun of crossing things off the weekly list.


You’re on the right track to prevent summer learning loss. Now that you know what to do with kids to prevent summer learning loss, they won’t lose any learning over the long vacation months. Way to go, you!